Considering the car's size, the cargo space is remarkably spacious. There's enough room behind the second-row seats for groceries and other small items. It's not necessary to remove the headrests when folding the seats flat: the C30 is bicycle-friendly. Four tie down loops secure large cargo.
The C30 incorporates safety features from Volvo's XC90 sport-utility vehicle, and the S40 sedan. The transverse engine is six inches from the front bulkhead, to protect passengers in a frontal collision. Crash boxes at the front bumper protect the body from damage during a low-speed impact.
The front of the car is designed to minimize pedestrian and cyclist injuries, in the event of a collision. An energy-absorbing structure ahead of the front bumper minimizes leg injuries. The hood and front fenders deform on impact, to minimize head injuries for accident victims outside the car.
The peripheral edges of the car absorb most of the crash energy, protecting passengers on the inside. Engineers used three grades of high-strength steel to direct crash forces around and below and cockpit.
In a rear-end collision, seatbacks and headrests move with the body, to minimize the possibility of whiplash. Seatbacks are reinforced to withstand high loads from unsecured items in the cargo area.
Volvo's intelligent driver system minimizes distraction when traffic requires his full attention. Sensors monitor steering wheel movements and acceleration, automatically delaying warning lamps and other peripheral information.
Other standard safety features include front, side and side curtain airbags, automatic tailgate wiper, dynamic stability control and traction control.
The optional blind spot information system uses lights in the front pillars to warn drivers about vehicles in the C30's blind spots. Rear park assist and bi-xenon headlamps are available through the custom build program.
The new C30 is built at Volvo's Ghent, Belgium assembly plant.
2008 Volvo C30
Likes: A versatile compact hatchback that's fun to drive, and incorporates Volvo's world class safety technology.
Dislikes: Standard summer tires don't provide adequate traction in winter weather.